Where Is Your Energy Right Now?
Five years ago (well before COVID), I started to experience unexpected, and strong, feelings of discontent in the career path I’d had for over 23 years.
It was extremely frustrating because:
- It was a stable job at a great company. I always used to believe that I would retire from this company; yet, something had shifted. I could no longer visualize an option where I continued to put in my time, day after day, like this for another 10-15 years.
- My career was in training and people development, so I’m wired to help people acquire the skills and mindsets needed to do their jobs. I thrive on change. Yet, these tools weren’t helping me move beyond my own personal state of discontent. Talk about frustrating.
- I had a supportive boss. She had always encouraged my development and advancement, yet I no longer wanted to pursue these, either.
- I was resentful for feeling this way. I would tell myself to “suck it up,” while feeling more and more unfulfilled. Over time, I could see my unresolved resentment slowly carry over into my work and personal life.
If I were asked to describe what it felt like during that time, the two words that come to mind are: stuck and alone. I prided myself on being able to “fix” most things, yet nothing I was doing was working. On top of that, I didn’t know who to talk to, since I wasn’t sure what was wrong or what I needed to do next.
After several more months of frustration, I was introduced to coaching. This method of problem-solving was different than anything I’d learned previously. The coaching process assumed that I was fully capable of getting beyond my current circumstance, then my coach provided the space, time, and questions I needed to figure out what was the right next step for me.
My first biggest “ah-ha” was realizing that the “stuckness” I was experiencing was blocked energy. This can happen to any of us living on auto-pilot, adapting and adjusting to whatever comes our way. While this adaptability can be a strength (as it was for me, for a long time,) I missed the signs I was drifting through life, ending up on a “deserted island” of blocked energy.
The worst part about drifting? By the time you realize you’re off course, you’re stuck and not sure what to do next. It feels pretty hopeless. This is where I was so thankful for what I learned in the coaching process.
As I worked with my coach, I identified my top three energy buckets - facilitation, education and activation. It made sense that I was drawn to a learning & development career so many years ago.
Over time, my role had shifted from facilitating, teaching, and activating training projects into mainly project management. Where I used to get energy from directly helping employees learn new things to do their jobs better, I now sat in meeting after meeting, moving projects along. I had lost the direct interaction with the people, and I now realized I needed that energy.
I was still using the energy of my activation bucket in my current role, though I was overusing the activation bucket at the expense of the other two, and my energy was now “stuck.”
I’ve often heard the phrase “transferrable skills” used to describe those skills we learn that we take with us to any new job/role/relationship.
As I looked at my energy buckets – facilitation, education, and activation – I realized these represented my “transferrable energy.” The more I was able to do these things on the job, the MORE ENERGY I would have. The MORE ENGAGED I would be. The MORE RESILIENT I would be at my job. It would no longer be a burden; it would be an adventure.
It was at this point I reached a crossroads:
- Do I stay at my current role, only utilizing one of my energy buckets, or
- Do I pursue a new path that allows me to explore the energy from all those buckets, AND get paid to do it?
Both options are good options. But there was only one option for me. I picked the latter.
I now had the energy to pursue my own life coaching certification, eventually becoming credentialed through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). As I followed my own energy, I realized that my passion was to help others find their energy and purpose, and – where possible – align it to their paycheck.
It all led up to my decision to leave my corporate job in March of 2020 to launch my own training and coaching business. I get to tap into all three energy buckets almost every day, and I’ve never felt so alive, even during a global pandemic.
As I launched my new business in the uncertainty of a scared and shifting world, I was thankful I had learned the skills I needed to adjust my energy, accept my limitations, and keep going. I still wake up every day – to this day – and get excited about what I do and who I’m here to help!
Whether you’re feeling stuck at work or in your personal life, you CAN take action to shift your energy in a more positive direction, regardless of your circumstances. Let’s get unstuck.
Interested in learning more?
- If you have three hours:
- Join me, Kay Arvidson, and Lynn Swanson for Level Up. The program provides high-level insights about how to Level Up in three different areas of work.
- I’ll be sharing an exercise, similar to the one I went through, to help you identify your energy buckets. From there, we’ll explore how closely these align with your current role and consider where you could transfer these buckets to get more energy.
- If you have 8 hours (1 hour per week for 8 weeks):
- Join me to explore more holistic view of your unique strengths, blind spots, and how you manage your energy today. As you learn more about yourself, you’ll be able to better manage your energy and also find motivation to create your best life. Register today for Life on Purpose.
How about you? Where is your energy right now? No matter where you’re at, you can get excited again – or even more excited - about your job and life. Let us help you find Your Clear Next Step.